Energy inefficiency may be increasing debt

Consumers may be increasing their debt levels by failing to make their homes more energy efficient.

This is because four out of ten homes have not …

Consumers may be increasing their debt levels by failing to make their homes more energy efficient.

This is because four out of ten homes have not had the necessary measures taken to improve in this area and they are having to pay an average of £530 a year more for their energy as a result, according to research by uSwitch.

And those paying more for energy will have less money to pay off their debts, or may feel an increased need to borrow to make up the shortfall.

The study found that of those households failing to make their homes more energy efficient, the most common reason (42 per cent) was the cost, while 17 per cent are not sure such measures can offer value for money.

However, the site noted, the cost of loft and cavity wall insulation each is £150 on average and the typical savings per year (£310) would more than pay for this in the first year.

The site said radiator boosters are another device that could help cut costs by another £140 a year.

Energy efficiency expert for uSwitch Kevin Sears noted that with the recent price reductions only shaving a little of the large increase in energy bills over the past year, such measures could be vital to help hard-pressed consumers make ends meet.

He said: "With winter starting to bite and recent energy price cuts not going far enough, becoming more energy efficient may be the lifeline cash-strapped consumers need.

"The average energy bill has been cut by £34 this year, but by spending just £25 on energy efficiency measures such as a radiator booster, households could cut their bills by up to £140."

Commenting on the cuts implemented by the big six power suppliers last month, director of consumer policy at uSwitch Ann Robinson said these would be like a "drop in the ocean" in comparison with the price hikes that had taken place in recent months.

Posted by Paul Thacker

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